"I golf," can mean different things to different people. For some it means, I take lessons because I want to play one day. For some it means, I go to the range and practice. For real golfers it means I play the game on a golf course. There is nothing like playing a round of golf whether it be 9, 18, 27 or 36 holes in a day.
On the course, every shot counts if you are keeping score. Yes, there are plenty of golfers who don't keep score because they just enjoy being on the course trying to get that little ball in the hole. Sometimes, that means playing a scramble or best ball instead of playing your own ball. These are the same people who simply drop the ball in an easy spot when they lose their ball. These players usually don't hole out either, if the ball is close to the hole, their playing partner usually gives them the benefit of the doubt for the next putt. All of this is completely ok, because they are not playing competitively, they are simply having fun.
When you are keeping score, it is important to be honest and hole out. This is the only way to know if you are improving when you play round after round. There are various statistics that a golfer can track that don't include the distance the ball traveled. How many greens were hit? How many fairways were hit? How many putts did it take to put the ball in the hole? No matter what stats are kept it is important to have fun. Never get so serious about the data that you forget to have fun.
Over the last few months, I have been hearing so many stories from juniors that are playing golf for the first time or playing golf after a long time. The first question I ask is, "Did you have fun? Did you enjoy it?" The response is always "YES!" When I look at the scores, they are usually pretty good. When you play, you realize where you need work and usually you make a commitment to get better. That's what I believe growing the game is about.
I also have adults sharing how their scores are coming down. Some of them are playing for money so they are appreciating being on the winning end for a change. Shockingly those same adults refer the very people they are now beating to me. This is a different level of sportsmanship and I love being part of it. It only happens when people get out and play golf.
Helpful VIdeo of TIPS To Remember when Playing
Know when not to apologize
Are golf lessons absolutely necessary to play golf? The short answer is no. There are lots of people who play the game every day who have not taken a lesson. They play because they heard it was fun, they think it would be beneficial to their career or they were persuaded by a friend and got hooked. If you watch these people closely, the majority offer more in the way of comic relief than they do skill. Every so often, these players plateau and come to the realization that they cannot improve without proper instruction.
At Beaver Golf, our goal as teaching professionals is to help our students develop a complete understanding of their swing. It is our hope that they will be able to replicate what we are teaching them during their practice time. Each lesson builds upon the other until the student has the confidence to identify and fix issues in their swing quickly when playing.
One strategy that works well is to take notes after the lesson. We especially encourage this for junior golfers. A small notebook can be stored in the golf bag so it easy to retrieve when practicing and playing just like the yardage or green notebook that most professional golfers use during a round.
We receive countless texts from students asking questions that were answered during the lesson. It makes sense, new information needs time to connect but note taking whether in words or pictures definitely speeds up the process. Try it!!
Check out this article which highlights several of the points that we discuss with our students at Beaver Golf.
If you have had any kind of lesson with me, you know that I usually share resources with you that I believe will help you progress in your swing or help you overcome a flaw in your approach. I am vey passionate about staying healthy and keeping the body strong through exercise. I spend a fair amount of time working out so when I came across an article about Monty Python's silly walk I could not help but laugh. The reality is, we have only begun to truly understand how our body works and maybe we are overcomplicating things. If you are not familiar with the walk, the video and some facts about the health benefits follow, check them out and let me know what you think. If nothing else, you will have some fun doing it.
The team gathered data on 13 healthy adults aged 22 to 71 and tested the silly walking styles of both Mr. Teabag and another character in the Monty Python sketch, Mr. Putey. Only Mr. Teabag’s silly walks resulted in increased oxygen uptake, energy expenditure and exercise intensity. The study showed that physical activity recommendations for adults can be met by exchanging a mere 11 minutes a day of regular walking with Mr. Teabag’s silly walk.
Click here to read full article
Mental clarity in golf is important. Celebrating after a good shot can be just as detrimental as getting aggravated over a bad shot. Both responses are emotional. The best golfers are usually very calm in how they respond to good and bad shots during a round.
When a player is emotionally grounded, they are able to think strategically about the next shot. Some common errors that can be made when you are making decisions through emotional lenses include:
While these tips seem to be helpful only when you are having a tough time, they should be applied when you are have a great round. Celebrating too early leads to poor decision making. Never become complacent on the golf course, always stay disciplined. If you happen to make it to the end with an awesome scorecard celebrate and leave it in the past. The next round of golf is a new challenge. Treat it that way!!
I have said this before but I will say it again. I love golf and I love what I do. I get to be outside and I get the opportunity to teach others how to play this game. Playing this game requires a lot of patience and discipline. I can teach you how to swing but I cannot teach you how to be patient with your progress. I'm sure you have heard the saying "Rome was not built in a day," but when it comes to golf too many people think they can become an overnight sensation after one lesson. I like to think that I do a good job of explaining the swing and highlighting areas that need attention in my student's swing but I am not a miracle worker.
The hard work happens when you leave me. Do you practice deliberately? Meaning when you practice do you focus on the areas that I showed you in the lesson or do you just go back to your old ways of practicing? Are you changing your mindset about the swing or are you continuing to exhaust yourself by swinging at the ball instead of your target? Do you believe you can improve or are you constantly berating yourself? Are you trying to show off for others or are you focusing on your personal goals?
Playing golf is supposed to be enjoyable. If you are not having fun then you are putting too much pressure on yourself. Golf is a game. Treat it that way. The question to ask is "How do I beat the course?" Too many golfers worry about beating their buddy. When you are stressed or getting angry, the course is beating you. How does an inadamant thing have the ability to beat a human with a brain? It doesn't but when you let your emotions take over, the course wins every time.
Emotions are hard to manage, especially if you are a parent of a junior who wants to play golf competitively. The best advice I can give to those parents is to let their golfers enjoy the game. If they want to play in tournaments, encourage them to learn the rules of the game, get them out to play on course so they can strategize about how to beat the course and when they are struggling encourage them to think about what they have learned and apply that knowledge. Let your juniors drive their ambition and do your best to minimize your expectations.
I have taught many juniors who competed throughout high school but did not pursue it in college. It is not the end of world. The experience they gain on this golf journey will help them, no matter where life takes them. You can rest assured that they will not be calling me or any other coach in a panic because their boss invited them to play in a foursome next week. Yes, we absolutely get those calls.
The key thing to remember whether you are pursing golf recreationally or competitively is to be realistic in your expectations. If you put in the right effort, progress will follow. Even more important, do not compare yourself to another golfer. Some golfers get certains pieces of the game easier than others. Some golfers need more time to change bad habits. Golf is a journey, a personal journey. Enjoy it!!